31 August, 2011


Hello! I'm still not in a very "bloggy" place right now, but I did want to pop in and say hello and give a little update. So, last post I said that we needed to move to get rid of a lot of stress in our lives. I can't really explain what that means because I don't know who reads my blog, but I will say that it's mostly to do with noise and vandalism. Our home doesn't feel like a retreat. Instead of going home to relax and de-stress, it feels like our home is actually making us anxious and stressed out.

We ended up finding an apartment that I completely fell in love with. It was exactly what we were looking for, so we applied. And we didn't get it. This was pretty heartbreaking to me. We had to wait four days to find out (which felt like an eternity), and I really got my hopes up. It felt like it was my fault that we didn't get it because I don't have good credit (I really screwed up when I was younger... getting my first credit card at 18 is one of my hugest regrets).

So, I came up with a new game plan. As much as I wanted to move and get a fresh start in a quieter, more peaceful place, I never felt sure that we were doing the right thing. Usually, I have a really good gut feeling when something is right or wrong for me... not that moving is necessarily a matter of right or wrong, but this time it felt like it was. I decided that the right thing for us right now was to stay put, make the best of the place we're in, and make some plans for the future. The night we found out we didn't get the apartment, we completely redecorated our bathroom (actually, we didn't really redecorate... it was never decorated to begin with), and we're planning on redoing the living room too. We want to make this place as peaceful and as relaxing as possible. We also decided to get away for the weekend to Cambria. I found a really great hotel deal and booked it. The prospect of some peace and quiet made us both feel really hopeful.

Sooooo, there's more. Last Tuesday was the day we found out we didn't get the apartment and the day I decided we needed to stay put. On Thursday night, Levi lost his job.

I completely FREAKED out. Like I felt like I lost my mind and like I needed to go to an asylum. I was so terrified, but one of the first things I thought was, "Thank you, God that we didn't get that apartment." Randomly, we had plans that night with someone in the hair industry. She had actually been wanting to talk to Levi about a future prospect. It felt like God had lined it all up perfectly. Too bad I never feel like that in the moment... instead, I lose my mind and freak out.

Levi found a new salon to work at the very next day. The rent is $200 per week cheaper, and it's even closer to our house than the last salon. It's a temporary spot because he has something incredible in the works that we're hoping and praying works out by the end of the year.

Since he was able to find a new place so quickly, we decided that we should still go to Cambria. We got back last night, and now I just feel weird. Last week was so tumultuous, and I'm exhausted. It was great to have a break from it all, but I really didn't want to come home last night. My break wasn't long enough. It's hard to get back into the swing of things after vacation no matter what's going on in your life, but, right now, it's even harder.

I still maintain what I said in a post a few weeks ago - life is really really good right now. It really is. And I'm happy. But I feel a little lost right now. I've been reevaluating my life a lot lately - what I do every day, what I want, who I am, who I'd like to be, what I have to offer, what are my priorities. Right now, I don't have answers to all my questions, and that's unsettling to me. I like answers, and I like knowing. If I have a question, I don't rest until I find an answer. I'm relentless about that. But the answers I'm looking for can't be found by doing a Google search or reading a book. They take a bit more patience, a wait-and-see attitude.

I know I'll survive this season of my life. I know I'll find the answers I'm looking for. And I know that everything will work out for us. It always does. Despite all my uncertainty, fear, stress, and anxiety, deep down, I always know that God will take care of us. But what I really hope for right now is that I can respond to unexpected setbacks with faith, hope, and a calm mind. I want to make myself proud. I want to thrive during this fast-paced period of my life. Everything is moving and changing so quickly, and I want to keep up with it. I don't want to fight it. I don't want to get ahead of it. I just want to keep up and go with the flow.

16 August, 2011

I've never been very good at balance...

I haven't been blogging much lately. It's kind of a bummer, and I wish I had more to say right now, but I don't... and that's okay. I'm sure I'll have plenty to say again soon. It's a phase that I've been through before and will go through again. :)

Life is great right now, but it's stressful too. Levi and I finally decided this weekend that we need to move to remove some of the stress, and that's pretty overwhelming. Moving is such a pain, and looking for a new home is frustrating to me. I'm the type of person who can't rest until a task is done... and this isn't a task that can be rushed. I'd like to believe that our home is out there somewhere, but I'm not feeling very optimistic right now. See how impatient I am?? We've only been really actively looking for a couple days! Something will come up. And maybe I'll learn a little patience along the way.

Amidst all the stress of life, I'm really trying to focus on stopping and enjoying the moment. I want to be present. I want to give myself time to feel carefree. I want to be there instead of always feeling like I'm rushing ahead to the next milestone or wishing for something else. Have you seen Midnight in Paris yet? Wasn't it amazing?? Didn't it make you want to embrace your life, the one you have right now? Didn't it also make you want to hop on the next plane to Paris...

So that's my life right now. It's a little all over the place. I'm trying to find balance between two worlds that seem very different to me - the world where I'm responsible and stay on top of everything and the world where I let go and just live...

photo by kimberly geneviève - www.kimberlygenevieve.com

I'm pretty happy that I get to go through it all and find my way with my Levi by my side.

12 August, 2011

I've got it good.

I have a king size bed and tickets to see Ballet Maribor perform Radio & Juliet (here's a video) in October.

Life is good.


(crummy pictures of our bed, without bedding, and our new mirrors... and my husband putting the bed together in the reflection)

09 August, 2011

Best Green Monsters Everrrr

I've gotten pretty adventurous in my green monster making. It seems like I'll throw just about anything in there! :) Here are two of my very favorite recipes that I've come up with:

Blackberry Nectarine Green Monster


1 heaping tablespoon finely ground flax seed
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (unsweetened shredded would work too)
2 cups spinach
1/2 a banana
1 nectarine
a handful of frozen, organic blackberries
1 cup vanilla coconut milk
1 cup ice

Toss all the ingredients in a blender, and blend! Serves 2.

Chocolate Raspberry Green Monster


1 heaping tablespoon finely ground flax seed
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cups spinach
1 cup frozen, organic raspberries (if you use frozen on this one, you don't need ice)
1.5 cups chocolate coconut milk

Again, toss in blender, and blend. This one is a bit smaller, but can still serve 2... you might not want to share though.

And for a bonus! Try making this non-dairy chocolate raspberry milkshake:

Chocolate Raspberry Milkshake


dark chocolate coconut ice cream (made with coconut milk. I used a brand called Bliss.)
frozen, organic raspberries
chocolate coconut milk (I use the one from SoDelicious.)

Eyeball the ingredients. Start with a smallish amount of coconut milk and add more as needed. Blend, and enjoy!

05 August, 2011

Healthy-ish Living

Since my last post on this subject, I haven't been totally on top of things, especially yoga. My motivation is slipping a bit... I don't really know why. I definitely miss how I feel when I do yoga regularly, but it's like pulling teeth to get myself to pull out my mat. I wish motivation was something I could buy at the store or order online.

I have made one really huge discovery/improvement! So you know how I've been complaining about feeling sick almost all the time for about a year and a half now? Sick and bloated and lethargic and lousy? Yeah, turns out I'm lactose intolerant (it's either that or a dairy allergy, and I'm praying it's not an allergy). Over the last couple weeks, I have completely cut dairy from my diet. I'm going to start slowly introducing it again (starting this weekend) with lactase supplements.

Hopefully, my body will allow me some dairy. I really don't know what I would do if I just couldn't have it at all anymore. It's been really difficult to find things to eat for the last couple weeks. I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't eat a lot of meat. So if I feel like a sandwich and I'm not in a meat mood, I would usually just have a cheese sandwich. For some reason, it's become a major substitute for me. I think it's the saltiness. And you already know how much I love a good cheese plate. (Side note: aged cheeses supposedly contain virtually no lactose, and it's also said that many other cheeses contain very little lactose too. I'm just eliminating it all for now, just to be safe and to allow my body some time to recover.) Ahhh, it's been trying. And, of course, the second you say you can't have something, it's all you ever want. I keep dreaming about pot de crème, lovely cream sauces, mashed potatoes, ice cream, and cake. And iced mochas... oh, don't even get me started on the iced mochas!

I know there are all kinds of dairy substitutes out there, but, I'm sorry, it's not the same. And soy milk and tofu give me the heebie-jeebies. Also, soy milk isn't recommended for women with a history of breast cancer in their family. It contains a plant-based estrogen and can potentially increase your risk. Coupled with the fact that I can't stand the stuff, I think it's safe to say that I've ruled it out. Annnnd I don't really care for almond milk either. It's far too sweet for me. Fortunately, I like coconut milk, so that's been good for cereal and to put in my coffee from time to time.

Despite what a pain in the butt this has been, it's INCREDIBLE to have some answers!!! I wish I had figured it out sooner. Just so you know, having to run to the bathroom every time you consume dairy is NOT the only symptom of lactose intolerance. That's what I thought... and that's why I didn't realize I was lactose intolerant. My main symptom is bloating, like 6-months-pregnant-at-the end-of-every-night bloating. So for all you women out there with mysterious, constant bloating, consider the possibility of lactose intolerance. It's very common!

Okay! That's enough talk about dairy and my body! I hope everyone has a gorgeous weekend!!

03 August, 2011



Remember this skirt from Anthropologie? It sold out some time last year. I added it to my wish list when I first saw it, and a few weeks ago, it randomly showed up again on the top of my wish list. In my size! For $9.95!!!!! That's right - less than $10 for an Anthro skirt. Best deal I've gotten in a long time.

Ahhhh, I LOVE the thrill of a good deal.

(My apologies to those of you who follow me on Instagram and have already seen this.)

02 August, 2011

Goodbye, Portland! We love you!

I'm finally to the end of my Portland posting! Woohoo!!

I thought it would be appropriate to end with an ode to Stumptown coffee.

Dear Stumptown,

Thank you so much for keeping us caffeinated on our trip to Portland. You provided the best coffee I have ever tasted. Please come to Long Beach or LA.

Love forever,

P.S. I maaaaay have convinced one of your employees to give me one of your coffee cups and saucers... you know, since you don't sell them... thank you for hiring such kind employees. ;)





These last two photos are the last ones I took in Portland... my camera died right after. Perfect timing!

My Souvenir

When I was little, my family was fortunate enough to know the wife of a man who helped build Disneyland. Her husband had passed away, but she had lifelong access to the park, and she was allowed to sign people in whenever she wanted! As a result, my entire family got to go to Disneyland once every year. It was awesome!!

On every trip, I was allowed to get one "souvenir." It could be (almost) anything I wanted, within reason. I always knew exactly when I had found the perfect souvenir. I treasured my souvenirs so much. To this day, I still remember a few of them - a pink princess hat (one of those cone shaped ones), a Dumbo stuffed animal, Minnie Mouse ears with flowers and my name embroidered on it, and a Figaro stuffed animal.

Apparently, I still believe in the tradition of the souvenir because when I saw a beautiful sparkly necklace at Porch Light in Portland, I KNEW I had to have it.




The stone seems to change colors depending on the weather and what I'm wearing (just like my eyes!). It's absolutely gorgeous, and I treasure it. Every time I wear it, I think about our trip and just how special it was.

Sidewalk Treasures

I have a habit of looking down when I walk... it's not because I'm shy (I'm not) and don't want to make eye contact with people. I think it's because I always think I'm going to find something... or being with Levi has made me afraid of tripping. That man trips ALL THE TIME. We blame it on his "skis" (aka his size 12 feet).

Anyway, looking down when you walk pays off for several reasons:

1. You usually don't trip.
2. Sometimes you find money!
3. Every once in awhile, you get realllllllllly lucky and discover, what I like to call, sidewalk treasures.

Portland had THE BEST sidewalk treasures I've ever come across. One afternoon, we were walking, and I happened to notice this:

(bush whack)

I got really excited because of how weird and random it was. I looked around and noticed that there were more!! I called to Levi (who was ahead of me at this point) and pointed them out to him. We then spent the next 30 minutes walking around reading all of the messages in the sidewalk. I'm sure we looked like total fools walking around with our heads down on the same sidewalk for that long, but I didn't care. It was such a cool thing. I really appreciate that Portland values artistic expression enough to sponsor this type of project.

(Loose lips sink ships.)

(Face the music.)

(If I can't dance, it's not my revolution.)

(Now I've seen everything.)

(nothing can surpass the mystery of stillness. e. e. cummings)

(Don't worry. I'm here. You're there. That's fine. Ingrid Wendt)

And those aren't the only sidewalk treasures we found in Portland! On our first full day, I looked down and saw this little guy tied to a bicycle rack on 23rd.

photo 1

I was totally delighted by the weirdness. And THEN on our last night, in a completely different part of town (the Mississippi District), I saw this tied to a hook on the sidewalk!

photo 2

I'm sure that there are more throughout the city (actually, I saw another on my very first morning at a Stumptown café. It was up on a shelf next to a speaker, but I didn't think anything of it, so I didn't get a picture.) I love that someone has taken it upon themselves to do this, and I love that I noticed. Portland is so weird. In a really really good way.


One of the very best things about Portland was the water. It was delicious! Straight out of the tap!! This is such a novelty to me. In Southern California, the tap water isn't very good. Where I grew up in Huntington Beach (a block away from the beach), you really didn't want to drink the tap water. It tasted funky... and it always had sand in it. I'm not joking.

I really appreciate good water when I travel, and I try to drink as much of it as possible.

In Portland, they have drinking fountains all over that just flow non-stop!! Lovely, refreshing, clear, cool, FREE water for the taking!


It really is all about the little things in life... I wonder if airport security would let me get through the gates with a barrel of water in my suitcase...


Getting drinks at Departure was one of my favorite moments of our trip.

We were both wiped out and just needed a little pick-me-up for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Departure is SO cool and swanky. I loved the décor, and the view was killer.





We shared some appetizers and had some drinks. I had a champagne cocktail called "The Arrival." It was delicious - prosecco, St. Germain, peach bitters, sugar at the bottom of the glass, and some lemon peel.



We will definitely go back on our next trip!

International Rose Test Garden

On our last full day in Portland, we surprised a friend at her work. She didn't know we were in town, so we thought it would be fun to pop in and say hello! She was totally surprised. She just happened to be off for the day, so she came with us to the International Rose Test Garden.

Ohhh, this place was beautiful!!! I couldn't stop taking pictures of all the roses. And the sun came out for a couple minutes while we were there! It was gorgeous!!









(Levi and our friend, Sabrina)

(This charming little structure was actually the bathroom. Haha!)

One day, I WILL have a garden.

Lackluster Food

Okay. I took a break from the Portland posts, but I still have a few more left. I could just skip it, but I LOVE looking back through my blog and reliving all of our adventures. So, I'm going to power through the Portland posts and finish them up today.

Starting now!

My main objective when we went to Portland was to try as much food as possible... that kind of seems to be my main objective in life actually...

I'd like to say that we had the best food EVER while we were there... but we didn't. Boooo! Our hopes were really high for some stellar cuisine, and most of it just didn't live up to our expectations. It was really pretty though so I'll share some of our food pictures!


(rhubarb upside down cake at Ken's Artisan Bakery)



(cioppino at Lucy's Table... this was our most awkward dining experience. We were the ONLY diners in the restaurant, and I swear our waitress spent the entire time coming onto Levi. Awkward!!!)


(mini cupcakes at Cupcake Jones - cranberry white chocolate vanilla, pumpkin pie, and gingerbread... the gingerbread was the best.)



(margherita and arugula pizza at Ken's Artisan Pizza. This place was pretty good, but Bottega Louie is sooooo much better that it was difficult to be impressed. They did, however, have one of the best desserts I've ever had. In my life.)

(rhubarb crisp with strawberry gelato at Ken's Artisan Pizza. Oh my gosh, so good. Can you believe I had NEVER had rhubarb before this???! I've been missing out for so long. It's perfect! I love the tartness. Mmmm. I want another right now.)

So that was our lackluster food tour of Portland. Next time we go, I'm sure we'll find some better food... or we'll just eat at La Provence every day...

P.S. I had ice cream at Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop that was really good too! We REALLY need a gourmet ice cream parlor in Long Beach. If you ever visit Portland and you like ice cream, make sure to look them up! You can also buy their ice cream sandwiches at stores across the country. I think a store in Long Beach even carries them! I need to look it up...
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